Compiling a resume that makes it through the crowd
It will come as no surprise to many job seekers that the current job market is ultra-competitive and the sheer numbers of applicants for some positions is overwhelmingly large. So how does one ensure their resume stands out from the crowd in this fast-paced world? Its definitely not through producing a showy, blingy resume.
Then there is the added complication of a lot of large companies using applicant tracking software to scan the resumes submitted and rejecting a large number of them without having ever been seen by a human eye.
So how does a Job Application Writer assist the job seeker to develop a resume that not only stands out from the crowd but makes it through the software to be looked at by the hiring manager and given a chance to gain an interview.
When it comes to ensuring the resume makes it through the applicant tracking software it is important that the job application writer use the expected headings throughout the document such as profile, key skills, achievements, career experience and education. The use of keywords from the job description within the resume also means the software will identify the resume as worthy of passing through the process. What is also important is to use either a word document or PDF format as these formats are ‘read’ more easily by the applicant tracking software.
While it is important to ensure that the content of the resume itself is high quality the design and appearance also makes an impact and can ensure your resume stands out from the crowd. So what tips do resume writers offer for resume design?
1. Use a clear font such as Calibri, Arial or Helvetica and a minimum size font of 11.
2. Add white space to the body of the page by setting the body text on 1.5 and having a line spacing between sections.
3. Use bold for headings and if possible avoid using italics or underlining text.
4. Choose one signature colour for your headings and black or very dark grey for the text. The colour should be a professional colour like dark blue or green rather than a ‘pretty’ colour like pink or purple. Do not be tempted to add more colours – it makes the end result look messy.
5. Use a header including your name and the document type such as John Smith – Resume and your phone number. This can then be the same format on your cover letter.
6. In the footer number the pages.
7. Add a page border of a single line or double line box as this adds to the neat appearance of your document.
8. Use bullet points to list your responsibilities, achievements and skills
9. Don’t add a photo or personal information such as hobbies or interests.
So, you now have your superb resume – what else can you do to stand out from the crowd when you apply for a position? You need to make sure your resume and cover letter are specific and individualized for each position you apply for. Use key words from the job description within both documents and highlight how you personally can fulfil all the requirements of the role.
Find out the name of the hiring manager and address your correspondence directly to them rather than the generic ‘to whom it may concern’.
When Job Application writing it should never be a case of submitting the same resume to multiple employers.Submit your application as soon as possible after the position is listed. Given the current climate some job vacancies are taken down within a couple of days of being advertised and submitting a quality application quickly demonstrates you are keen and ready to go.